TWO thousand Samsung Galaxy smartphones which will be used by police officers to keep them on the beat will save Essex Police almost £4million, it has been revealed.

Roger Hirst, Essex’s police and crime commissioner, has spent about £40,000 on the devices in a bid to increase visible patrols on the streets.

It is hoped that the technology would mean officers could handle paperwork while out and about, instead of driving back to a police station to do it.

He said: “The purchase of more than 2,000 smartphones for use by operational police officers will enable them to spend more time working in the community without having to return to police stations to complete files and other tasks.

“Police officers will be able to use the devices to access data and information via the Athena system, share intelligence, task colleagues with actions and be provided with briefings about developing incidents rapidly and efficiently.

“The devices were purchased at a cost of £199 each as part of the Essex Police mobile policing programme.

“It is anticipated that this programme will deliver net revenue savings of £3.9 million to Essex Police over the next five years, so the initial capital investment will result in both increased police officer visibility in our communities and a cost saving to the force.”

Chief constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “More than 2,100 smartphones will be delivered to frontline officers over the coming months.

“This is a massive leap forward for Essex Police and a big investment that will make a big difference.

“The smartphones will allow officers to be more visible more often by maximising the time they’re active on the street rather than ploughing through admin in a police station.

“They will also give our officers more time to fight crime.”